Pet adoption: the best option for students?
Zoe Bobar, a volunteer at Pima Animal Care Center of almost two years, walks 10-month-old Chinese sharpei mix Fireball over to his new family, sisters Karla and Diane Sinohui, on Tuesday, Aug. 25.
While many students choose to adopt pets in college, it is also common for students to relocate their pets through the Facebook page Free and For Sale, which has raised the question of whether college students should adopt pets in the first place.
Free and For Sale is one of the most popular UA student Facebook groups, where students can sell and purchase items, such as furniture, textbooks and clothes. However, people often come to the group looking to find a new home for pets they can no longer care for, which other students have found controversial.
Julia Snook, a junior studying astronomy and geology, said she finds it “extremely irresponsible and an incredibly unfair thing to do to a dog or a cat.”
Snook said she is finally ready to adopt a dog after years of planning and waiting, and she’s ready for the responsibility that comes with a pet. She plans on taking her future dog with her when she moves on to graduate school.
Oftentimes, students choose to adopt a pet from the Pima Animal Care Center, which sometimes hosts special adoption events.
Justin Gallick, live release manager at PACC, said everyone who comes in to adopt is asked a series of questions for their adoption survey, which includes the amount of time they dedicate to work and school and where they see themselves in five years, to make sure potential owners have pet-friendly lifestyles.
“[Students] can provide wonderful, loving homes,” Gallick said.
However, he said he encourages students to evaluate their lives over the next 10 to 15 years, which is the average life span of a pet. If the potential owners have trouble answering where they will be after graduation, Gallick said they should consider fostering as an option, which greatly helps out the shelter.
Aruna Sakthi, a physiology senior, said animal shelters are really appreciative of those who can foster because it takes the animals out of the overbooked environment.
Kim Bui, a recent UA graduate, said she swears by fostering.
Bui and her roommates wanted pets, but not the commitment of keeping them because they were all so close to graduation and none of them were sure what was going to happen once they all left Tucson. Fostering was the best option for them, Bui said, because they were provided with food and a litter box, and all the medical and adoption fees were waived.
“Fostering shows [students] what it’s like to actually take care of a pet,” Bui said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen after graduation. People give them back all the time and that’s not fair to the older pets.”
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